by Mike McNamee Published 01/06/2009
Model Katie Green matched the 'average beauty' markers very closely.
Andrew Berend has described the philosophy behind Portrait Professional on the previous pages. We have had the opportunity to test a pre-release copy of the software, which is now at version 9. We tested the studio version, which is fully featured.
For those who are unfamiliar with the program it is worth emphasising the overall features and the way it works. The software has been 'taught' the proportions of attractive faces in terms of eye spacing, face shape, lip shape, etc. You begin, therefore, with just five clicks of the mouse, to tell the software where your subject's eyes, nose and mouth are, clicking at the left and right ends of the eyes and lips and the tip of the nose. This process can be relatively quick because great precision is not required. Then the program offers you close-up views of the eyes and lips so that you can further define the position of the features and their exact shape. You finish this part by defining the overall face shape, chin, cheeks and hairline.
The underlying program knowledge then comes into play as it shifts the facial features towards the 'perfect' shape. Thus we find if we use a picture of Kate Moss or Katie Price (aka Jordan) the blue lines almost match. You can see this in our test shot of model, Katie Green, a pretty girl by any standards. The blue lines are a near perfect match to her features (although, slightly bizarrely, Portrait Professional wanted to make her eyes smaller!). As well as facial sculpting quite a number of other 'enhancements' are made to teeth, eyes, and the skin texture.
Even with Portrait Professional you still need to keep your thinking-cap on. This shot lies just between full face and 3/4 view and, depending upon the placement of the marker lines, the retouch is successful or you end up with a distorted image. Should this happen, try again with different settings.
Much of what is carried out can be accomplished by a skilled Photoshop retoucher. However, it would normally take many hours of work (and skill) fo recreate what Portrait Professional accomplishes in a few seconds. Our tests on pretty, well made-up models are not typical of 'ordinary' faces and it is there that the program becomes both useful and, it has to be said, a real money-maker.
For those of you who are familiar with Portrait Professional, the new features are as follows:
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